- It tastes better.
Going to Kroger and buying local cheese at the farmer’s market are not the same in any way, shape or form. Pretending that Kroger cheese is the same as local cheese is lying to yourself – and the Honor code warns us against that. Comparatively, local food has a richer flavor and higher quality. Instead of packaged and processed grocery store products, shipped across America, local food is fresh and less handled. If you don’t believe me, try a Charlottesville apple compared to a dining hall apple and let me know.
- Think of the local economy!
This might be a combination of my economics major and secret desire to partially own a farm, but I can’t help getting excited thinking about the local farmer I support every time I buy one of their products. Every time you eat local, you’re helping someone sustain his or her business and make a living! If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I don’t know what does. It’s hard to feel the same kind of sentimental attachment to the owners of Tyson Foods that I feel for my favorite local farmer.
- Less waste.
It doesn’t take an environmental science major to recognize that mass food production is incredibly wasteful. Processing, packaging, and shipping are all costs saved when purchasing local food. Instead of having your food shipped from an unknown mass-production plant, you can meet the farmer, learn where and how it was made and do your part to reduce waste. Eating local not only tastes good, but makes you feel like an environment-saving hero!
- Charlottesville is beautiful.
Think about Charlottesville – past the University and out into the county. If you didn’t know, Charlottesville is really pretty! Without local farmers keeping the land open and farmable, all of it could go away. With successful farmers, land is protected from urban sprawl and kept open and beautiful. If you eat local, not only can you help the economy but also ensure responsible land development.
- It’s cheaper with Greens to Grounds.
One of my biggest deterrents from buying quality, fresh local food is the dollar value. As a college student, I have a minimal budget on which to purchase enough food to last two weeks. While it’s a bit expensive to weekly hit up the farmer’s market or whole foods, my Greens to Grounds box is cheaper than a trip to the store and saves me time. In college, time is especially precious with midterms, papers, activities and far better things to do.